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How Unauthorized Sellers Impact Your Buy Box
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5 min read

In today’s day and age, we don’t see many people who aren't Amazon shoppers. Amazon is a major force in the ecommerce space; shoppers can buy anything from groceries to car parts online with a few clicks of a button. With such a quantity of shoppers, it’s no wonder that there are millions of sellers, all competing for the Amazon Buy Box and the billions in sales that occur there each year. Winning in this arena requires you to do a better job of selling than your competitors.

After all, you are competing for the same dollar and the same customer. What factors drive your Buy Box wins or another seller winning the Buy Box? Which sellers are having the most impact on your Buy Box win rates? Are these sellers authorized and adhering to their distribution contracts? What impact are unauthorized sellers having on your marketplace business?

How Competitive Data Influences Buy Box Wins

Competitive insights are crucial to Buy Box success. Knowing the relationship between your Buy Box win rate and the win rate of unauthorized sellers is one of the most important factors that you, as an Amazon manager, can use to boost your Buy Box win rate.

IPSecure has unique insights into competitive Buy Box win rates. We decided to use these insights to illustrate how Buy Box win rates correlate between authorized and unauthorized sellers.  We analyzed the Buy Box win rates of 50 customers over a period of nine months and saw a clear pattern emerge. As Buy Box win rates for IPSecure customers increased, the win rates of unauthorized sellers on the same product listings declined.

Amazon Buy Box win rates for 50 IPSecure customers over a nine-month period.

IPSecure CEO David Cooper summarized the phenomenon: “Everyone's competing for the same dollars. There's always going to be a correlation between the win rate for the authorized sellers and the unauthorized sellers. After all, these sellers are going after the same buyer. But for IPSecure customers, the win rates are going up while the win rates for their competitors, the unauthorized sellers, are going down.”

Given the dynamic nature of the Amazon marketplace, it is no surprise that Buy Box performance is fluid. The Amazon algorithms are constantly comparing seller performance to decide which seller offers the best consumer value and, hence, wins the Buy Box. Think of it as a busy store, packed with customers, but the seller, cashier and point of sale system changes constantly. For a large brand, there may be thousands of Amazon sellers trying to take your place at the virtual cash register and compete with you for the Buy Box. Some of those sellers are authorized while others are not.

To understand this fluid environment, it is essential to capture Buy Box performance at a granular level on a variety of dimensions. Pricing, inventory levels, shipping speed, past Buy Box win rates - all of these factors and more influence the Amazon algorithm and can make the difference between your winning the Buy Box or another seller scoring the sale.

Furthermore, not all sellers have an equal impact on your Buy Box performance. Once you analyze your competitors, you may find that a small number of sellers are taking the lion’s share of revenue from you. But analyzing all these dimensions for hundreds or thousands of sellers isn’t possible manually.

Analyzing Buy Box Performance

That’s where IPSecure can help. Unlike other tools, our AI-driven platform captures Buy Box activity on an hourly basis. This level of granular information lets you pinpoint the sellers who are having the largest negative impact on your sales in a highly fluid marketplace. The IPSecure platform lets you analyze sellers by how much revenue they are taking away, or how much inventory they are carrying, or a multitude of other factors, quickly and automatically. 

Ranking sellers by a variety of dimensions that you control lets you see trends quickly. You may have a distribution problem, where your distributors and resellers are in violation of your agreements. Or, you could have a problem with unauthorized sellers who are infringing on your intellectual property rights by using your brand names and trademarks. Or you may have a combination of issues.

Understanding the profile of competitive sellers lets you determine which sellers are causing the largest negative impact. Armed with this competitive knowledge, you can decide how best to take action and where to focus your efforts. Often, concentrating your actions on a small number of unauthorized sellers may yield significant revenue gains.

As the Buy Box win rate for unauthorized sellers decreases, you will see your Buy Box win rate - and revenue - increase. Detailed competitive insights are crucial for optimizing sales strategies and achieving sustained marketplace success. IPSecure provides actionable intelligence from hourly Buy Box monitoring so you can own your Buy Box.

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